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About ShropshireSam

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    Near Newport, Shropshire

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  1. Part of my standard kit is 2 long bamboo canes (8ft?) fitted with short pegs at 6 inch intervals at the top to fasten the hide net to. I usually use these at the back of the hide so have a good high back. But these can go in pretty deep and still give a good height. I also have 2 hazel pegs and some green string to help when in a strong wind. Twos always been enough for me.
  2. I use an old tall plastic kitchen bin (minus lid) - its a good height, fits in my kit bag (from AA decoys) and holds my decoys and netting. I have some netting slotted down outside the bin but in the kit bag so soft fit when carried on my back. I empty it out and turn upside down to make a good height seat. I can shoot sitting or easily raise up to shoot standing. You could fit a cushion under the bin if you wanted a softer seat ... I just use a folded up hessian bag.
  3. You have to remember it is still winter! Still had a sweat on yesterday clearing rides on the shoot!
  4. Very few around my part of Shropshire (Newport) this year. Shot over 500 last year and will have shot less than 50 so far this year. More hares than rabbits on most of my permissions now.
  5. I'm lucky to have access to a walk-in chiller at work. Put the birds on the concrete floor overnight and well chilled by morning before freezing.
  6. I've had some good sessions on whole cropped rye stubble. Farmer has triticale this year and said will be cut anytime now.
  7. Different dog walkers I think as last week the officer apologised and said he would visit the complainant and "educate her". Yes, this is the path along the bottom of the field. Only seen one couple walking on it. Probably 200 yards on the right from the hide at the nearest point. By setting the decoys to the left we were shooting away from the path. The cottage and the track to it are 300+ yards away and the path at the top is 750 yards away .... so no issue in that those directions. Had three bobbies all agree not an issue for them so happy to shoot there.
  8. Numbers building on some winter barley in Shropshire now.
  9. Noticed a few pigeon on a winter barley field yesterday. No flat patches yet put "leaning over" in a few places. Need a good windy wet night!
  10. Shot the same field of peas next to a town as last week. Decided not to bother ringing 101 as know it takes some time to get through and then explain why your ringing. Yesterday was nice and breezy and wind ideal direction for my chosen location. I moved the hide 20 yards down the field to be under an oak tree. This limited my shots to the right due to some low branches but meant birds coming over the kill zone (a nice patch of thin peas) were a bit further out and not flying directly towards me. I was set up by 1:30 with a mate due join me who couldn't get to me until after 3. I'd taken more kit as I was planning he could help carry some of it. Set up with two flappers on longer metal poles so they sit above the peas (ca. 4ft) and look very natural as you see birds gentle flapping to keep balance as the peas drop under there weight. Then had 4 dead birds on 4ft white flexy canes, again holding the birds above the crop and four half-shell decoys on the floor in the gaps. Had a busy half hour then steadyily slowed. Put another 6 fresh birds on flexy canes and replaced the shells with fresh birds. Birds from all directions but best shooting ones were quartering in on the wind at great speed and curling into the kill zone. After about an hour the wind dropped and the quartering flightline dried up . Was careful to shoot only at birds over the thin patch with no chances to take doubles. Saw a dog walker on a tramline at the top of the hill but she turned the other way when she heard the shooting. Mate joined me around 3pm by which I had 44 dropped. He hasn't done much pigeon shooting but started well with 5 from 5, then went downhill and he couldn't connect with birds decoying well. Any crossers or birds coming up into the oak above us he could hit. Bobbies turned up around 4pm. Complaints that we were shooting over a footpath. They could see we weren't and I explained I had the same issue a week earlier. Did a check on our gun serial numbers and then left us to it. Pleased they did not ask to see our certificates as both had left them in the cars. Both friendly and interested in what we were doing. Told them I'd ring 101 if out on this field again. About an hour later had another dog walker coming down the tramline. Walked up the hill to speak to her. She thought there was a path along the edge of the field but when advised there was not, apologised and returned up the hill. So I'm assuming several dogwalkers have been doing a circuit of this field (ca. 70 acres) with paths at the top and bottom and a track on the far side and now assume its a public path all the way round. And hence the calls to the police. Shot until we ran out of cartridges about 7 and finished with 76 picked (106 counted down). We had more carts in the cars but traffic had slowed to the point as not worth fetching more. Any we dropped wounded with second shots in the thick peas we marked and retreived but any dropping dead outside the kill zone were left as the dog was doing too much damage to the crop to retrieve these. I shot 76 with a 100 carts which is a good ratio for me but mainly due to not taking on any doubles.
  11. I usually have the best shooting over peas in flower. Have low numbers when drilled as not many left on the surface, then they leave them alone until in full flower then hit them hard. Usually quiet again until sprayed off for harvest when they feed on the pushed down crop in the tramlines. After harvest, they are disced in within days - never had a good day after harvest but last year had a good day whilst the combine was still cutting the field. This year have some late drilled peas and had a good day on them when about 6 inches high.
  12. I always let my farmers know when I am out. I send a text when set up advising them where I am...so if they hear the shooting they know its me. (And if they don't hear the shots, then they at least know I have been out doing some pest control for them). Pigeon numbers have built up again and I will shoot the field again later this week. I may try calling 101 and see if I can link to previous log number ... that way if police are called again they will have my contact details.
  13. Mentioned it the farmer's wife. She said she had a dog walker nowhere near a public footpath in the next field. When advised of the fact they said "Well I've been walking my dog on this field for 15 years and never had a problem with the farmer." She replied "Well I've been farming this field for 35 years and I've always had a problem with dog walkers!"
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